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FPS spreads good cheer


Farragut Primary School’s personal accountability class teach-er, Rachel Drake, is taking a hands-on approach to teaching the students the importance of generosity by having them make birthday cards for local Mobile Meals recipients.

“It is the perfect thing for me to do with the kids because I am doing it as a generosity class and we go into the different ways you can be generous. It is not always money that you can be generous with; you can be generous with your time,” Drake said.

Most Knox County schools use PAC as a form of in-school suspension. Drake handles her PAC more like a special’s class, such as music or art, going into the classrooms and teaching students what it means to take personal responsibility for their behavior.

“I teach character counts, respect, responsibility, fairness and citizenship. It is more like being a coach on behavior and how to make good choices,” she said.

She added it is much more effective for her to focus on prevention rather than put primary school children in suspension all day.

Drake invited Knox County Community Action Committee’s aging services manager Marie Alcorn to visit her card-making session with FPS teacher Katie Wheeler’s second-grade class Tuesday, Feb. 19.

Alcorn spoke to the students about mobile meals and the services they provide to seniors.

“We have two points to our program. One, to do a safety check and break that person’s day of loneliness; and two, to provide a meal.

“When you woke up this morning, did you wake up on your own or did your mom or dad wake you up? Did you have any sort of conversation this morning with anybody else while you were getting ready or while you were having breakfast?” She asked the students.

“Just within that first half hour that you were awake, you got to have a conversation, you got to have time, with somebody else.

“Did you know that there are thousands of people in this county, and you probably drove by them this morning on your way to school, that have not talked to a human being today?” she added.

Gabe Warden, a student in the class whose father volunteers with Mobile Meals, helped Alcorn explain the meals to his classmates.

“They usually have two boxes, one is a cold box and one is a hot box, and it depends what day they are on which meal they get on which day,” he said.

“That’s exactly right,” Alcorn said. “We make sure we give them a variety of foods.”

Before helping to pass out construction paper for the students to make their cards, Alcorn told them how much Mobile Meals recipients would appreciate their cards.

“Boys and girls, a lot of these people’s children have grown up and moved away, or they do not have any family. They get very little mail. It is a very lonely situation for a lot of them. That is why it is so wonderful what you are doing.

“You are adding to that meal, and it is going to be very special when these seniors get these cards, so thank you very much,” she said.

Each of Drake’s classes in the month of February constructed birthday cards, resulting in over 1,000 cards being donated to Mobile Meals.

Mobile Meals volunteers will deliver a card to each of its recipients on their birthday along with their meal.

Alcorn said Mobile Meals delivers almost 1,000 meals per day in Knox County.

 

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